Ladybrook resident lends helping hand to neighbours

Anthony Wharmby, 23, set up All Rise community group after hearing that some residents felt lonely and isolated, and were also worried about anti-social behaviour and crime
Anthony Wharmby, 23, set up All Rise community group after hearing that some residents felt lonely and isolated, and were also worried about anti-social behaviour and crime

After hearing complaints from neighbours, one Ladybrook resident has set up a community group so that older people don’t feel so alone.

Anthony Wharmby, 23, set up All Rise community group after hearing that some residents felt lonely and isolated, and were also worried about anti-social behaviour and crime.

The All Rise Community Group want to make a difference in their community, and work in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch, police, Nottinghamshire County Council's 'age friendly' project, and Mansfield District Council

The All Rise Community Group want to make a difference in their community, and work in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch, police, Nottinghamshire County Council's 'age friendly' project, and Mansfield District Council

Anthony then called meetings with police representatives and councillors to tackle the issue, and more neighbourhood wardens have been promised.

Anti social behaviour and crimes have been taking place, such as people climbing on the roof and turning a shops’s fridges off so that the perishable food had to thrown away, and damaging cars.

Nick Butler, Nottinghamshire police’s district commander for Mansfield said:

“It is a key area for us to focus on, and we are aware of the issues and perpetrators, and are tackling them.

“We are in regular contact with the Ladybrook neighbourhood watch scheme, and the shopkeepers.

“We will be holding regular meetings in Ladybrook to update and reassure residents.

“It is a small minority that cause the problems, and we know who they are.

“This behaviour has a huge impact on residents and businesses, and is not acceptable.”

Anthony said: “Something needed to be done, there wasn’t as many police patrolling the area.

“I went to the Neighbourhood Wardens first, and walked them around Ladybrook to show them the problem areas.

“People have lived here all their life and it’s their community, they should be a priority.

“I’m trying to make the area less divided and set up activities for the youngsters to do ,as well as making sure the elderly are comfortable.

“I want to improve the reputation of young people, they get tarred with the same brush.

“Through listening to people of all ages, I want to help people achive something they didn’t feel capable of before.

“It’s something I love doing, being able to help people.”

As well as raising concerns about crime to the relevent authority, Anthony helps residents with odd jobs such as assembling furniture .

He campaigns passionately for improvements for the area, being the spokesperson for residents and signposting them to other services.

Anthony is also beginning to organise social nights at The Ladybrook pub to help with isolation, which will take place on Thursday nights for over 50s.

Although modest about the positive impact he has on the community, residents are full of praise for Anthony.

One resident, who wished to remain anoymous through fear of being targeted, has lived in Ladybrook all her life.

She said: “I live on my own and I’m terrified.

“We used to have PCSOs and two regular police officers patrolling the streets, but since they were taken away, youths think they can do what they want. We really want to get police stationed in Brookside Hall.

“There used to be a real community in Ladybrook - neighbours would leave their doors open, now 90% of people close their door after 5pm.

“Although it wasn’t free of crime, we could go anywhere as youngsters and feel safe.

“It’s got worse in the last ten years. If we got the police stationed at Brookside Hall, the pensioners round here would be so grateful, they’d get on bended knee and kiss their feet because sometimes it feels like you don’t matter anymore. As soon as you speak to police you’re a target.

“I met Anthony last year, he’s a breath of fresh air and he does more for Ladybrook than anyone else.

“Thanks to him, we’ve got our neighbourhood wardens back. He’s fighting our corner.

“The heart has been ripped out of this community, and Anthony is putting it back.”

Kate Allsop, who has lived in the area for over 40 years said: “I’d like to see more police, I sometimes feel unsafe or nervous. I don’t walk around at night, I get a taxi.

“I had rocks thrown at me by three youths on cycles and when I phoned police, they said if I took it too far, I’d be arrested.

“We need more police around, it’s a disgrace. I get angry that nothing’s been done for the area, it’s been neglected.

“It’s so frightening and police patrols would help stop this crime.

“Anthony looks into things for us and he’s a damn good worker. I call him our fairy godfather because he’s the most thoughtful young man I’ve met. He puts other’s needs before his own and wants recognising for all that he’s done.

Another resident, who also wished to remain anonymous said: “I’ve seen youths on the library roof, jumping across the roof, and I’ve seen drug dealing in public.

“You can see a passion in Anthony, he organises meetings with police and MPs to get our problems looked at, and he does it off his own back to help us.

“He’s even helped me with a plan to eat healthier and given me an incentive to get going.”

The All Rise Community Group will be holding a litter pick on September 29 at 11am on Ladybrook Park. All are welcome, and grabbers and bin bags will be provided.